Africa Looks to “Vision 2063” for Fostering Emerging Economies

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For instance, though agriculture is known to be one of Africa’s potential sectors for a competitive advantage, African countries still incur a food import bill of 25 billion dollars annually, according to World Bank data.

Africa is focusing on the “Africa Vision 2063”, as an initiative to spur its economies to joining the ranks of emerging economies, in the next 50 years. The vision is an initiative that will focus on value addition in the continent’s natural resources, increasing inter-African trade, improving skills and enhancing job creation for the youth, improving the quality of the population to achieve demographic dividend and boasting science, technology and innovation. The Ministerial Statement adopted on Tuesday at the conclusion of the 6th Annual Meeting Ministers of Economy and Ministers of Finance and Economic Development in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, shows that the ministers committed to working with the African Union Commission, the Economic Commission for Africa and the African Development Bank towards realizing the vision.

During the meeting of experts preceding the ministers’ meeting, some of the initiatives the African Union indicated to undertake towards developing Africa’s natural resource potential included the establishment of a minerals development centre, whose business plan was completed in September 2012. The centre is to provide information and advice to governments on how to better utilize their mineral wealth, as a well as on specific processes like negotiating mineral development contracts. Though the recently released Economic Report on Africa 2013 shows 5 percent growth in 2012 continent-wide, the ministers noted that the volume of trade between African countries is still low, an impediment to development.

For instance, though agriculture is known to be one of Africa’s potential sectors for a competitive advantage, African countries still incur a food import bill of 25 billion dollars annually, according to World Bank data. Of this, only 1 billion dollars of food imports is traded within African countries. The “Africa Vision 2063” will look at the possibility of reducing trade costs among countries, and encouraging value addition in sectors like agriculture across the continent, to uplift the continent to compete on the global economic stage. The theme of the recently-concluded meetings was “industrialization for an emerging Africa”.